10 Year High in Workplace Fatalities
09 Jul 2019
Eleven workers have died this year alone in the construction industry contributing 28% to national count which currently stands at 39 for this year 2019.
WorkSafe NZ was formed by the Government following the Pike River Mine tragedy in 2010, tasked to reduce fatal and serious non-fatal work-related injuries by 25% by the year 2020. Here we are mid 2019 with a record 10 year high in construction workplace fatalities.
Understandably, Unions, industry groups and WorkSafe are all voicing their concerns at the alarming statistic. Last year in total there was 49 workplace fatalities.
E Tu Union suggesting that high-rise construction puts too much strain on workers since four of the fatalities involved accidental falls from heights. WorkSafe's Chief Exec - Nicole Rosie is of the opinion that Small to Medium businesses who struggle to make ends meet and have small margins are compromising safety as they still see Health & Safety compliance as an extra cost which can be skimped on.
In a booming construction industry smaller businesses are called upon to engage in projects and challenges they aren't used to and accidents occur. Ms Rosie goes on to say: "There is no reason why that level of harm needs to go up with increased economic activity. What we need is our workplaces to plan and design that extra work in a way that's safe."
The end of year report from WorkSafe NZ 2018 suggested "2 out of 3 indicators" are shown to be on track to achieve this 25% reduction by 2020. Unsure if this will still be the case for the 2019 year end.